IU students evicted after double shooting at house party

IU student move out of a home called "The Brick House," where a double shooting occurred during a party. (WTHR/Mary Milz)
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) - At least four Indiana University students living in off-campus housing owned by the university are facing eviction after allegedly violating their lease and failing to agree to a "mutual termination" of the lease.

It all stems from a double shooting that happened outside the house they rent on South Grant Street, a house where a late night party was underway.

The house had been rented and the party put on by a promoter who advertised "Girls free 'til 1:30...Guys are $5."

Early Friday afternoon, one of the student tenants was packing up his belongings in a U-Haul. He didn't want to talk and we were told neither did his roommates.

But a group that met outside the house did. They were preparing to march to campus to protest.

Kiaha Meyers, an IU sophomore who lived in house last summer, said she's friends with the students who lived there.

Referring to the shooting, she said, "That was just so traumatizing, so traumatizing and now they're getting kicked out of their home."

Alex Johnson, a Bloomington resident hired to provide sound for last weekend's event, said, "that show was not in control of anyone who lives here. It was no one who had shows here before. It was more like people from Indy who'd come down."

Johnson and Meyers said the large, two-story house, known as "The Brick House," has a history as an arts venue.

"Normally, it's not just a party. Normally, it's live bands, (the people who come) are supporting the artists, there's no cover charge, but this was an extenuating circumstance," Meyers said.

IU spokesman Chuck Carney said it doesn't matter. He said the students were asked to vacate the property because they violated the terms of the lease. While he declined to share specifics, the 12-page lease lays out the terms in great detail. Among them, rentals should be used only (by students) as a residence not for business or commercial purposes and no person other than the tenant(s) should occupy them without prior consent.

And, the "Good Neighbor Policy" says tenants should not use the property in any way that's "detrimental, disturbing or disruptive to the neighborhood or Indiana University."

"We've been told there have been events in the past, but certainly it's not something in keeping with the agreement for a lease of IU property and it's something we can't continue," Carney said.

He said the student tenants living in "The Brick House" were offered emergency housing for the end of the semester, along with student counseling and legal services if they agreed to the "mutual termination." There would also be no fees, penalties or "stated reasons" for breaking the lease.

Carney said the university had not heard from any of the students as of Friday's 5 p.m. deadline. He said while eviction is the next step, the university has "not officially moved in that direction yet."

Meyers and Johnson and the roughly 20 other protestors also criticized the university for not issuing an IU-Notify alert after the shooting.

As they gathered on campus they chanted "keep the students safe."

Carney said the situation didn't meet the criteria for an alert. It happened off campus, with Bloomington Police alerting IU the suspected gunman had been caught just minutes after the incident.

"There was no mention of a second gunman, no belief of a second suspect at the time," Carney said, "so there was no ongoing threat to campus."

(Police would later say they thought at least one other shooter was involved, but as of Friday they had no suspects.)

As for "The Brick House," an online post promotes an upcoming concert there October 25 with a tab to buy tickets.

Carney said it won't be happening and that all parties at the house are over.